Launchpad Entry: https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+spec/unconference-process
Created: 2006-04-23 by MarkShuttleworth
Note: this content has been merged into DeveloperSummit
Ubuntu Un-Conference Processes
If you've ever been to an Ubuntu developer summit you know that we don't run it like a normal conference. In fact, it's far closer to an unconference. The aim is to get the maximum amount of discussion and decision making about a huge variety of topics done over a one week period. The logistics of that can be very challenging. The result is... amazing.
Preparing the Agenda
We manage the agenda for the developer summit in Blueprint, the launchpad feature specification tracker. You can check out the BlueprintDocumentation for more information on how you can use Blueprint to keep track of feature development and roadmaps. But the long and the short of it is that you need to register any topic in Blueprint as a spec for your product or for Ubuntu.
Then for each spec, you need to nominate it to the meeting agenda.
Now each meeting has a group of people (or a single person) who controls the agenda, and that person can accept or decline the topic for the meeting. The upshot is that you end up with a well-defined list of topics for this particular meeting.
People can register their attendance at the sprint. Essentially they say when they will be there and available for meetings.
Subscribing to topics
Attendees can look over the list of topics and subscribe to the ones they think are interesting. This tells us who to try and schedule to attend BOF sessions on those topics. We try to make sure that everybody gets to contribute to the topics in which they have an interest. In future we might set things up so that you can say how important this topic is to you personally and how many sessions you think you need to attend on that topic, which would let us get even better schedules.
Generating the timetable
Each day we try to generate a timetable for discussions the following day, covering the maximum number of topics, based on prioritisation. We try to ensure that there is time to write up the conclusions of a particular discussion session so that the ideas covered are written up in a way that everyone can follow and reach agreement on what was said. The idea is to go home with hard plans in writing on each of these topics, so that the community can have a strong sense of what is actually being planned.